The United States Oil Pollution Act of 1990 limits the company liability for non-cleanup costs to $75 million unless gross negligence is proven. British Petroleum has said it would pay for all cleanup and remediation regardless of the statutory liability cap.
Due to the crisis market value of British Petroleum stock reached a 1-year low. Investors saw their holdings in British Petroleum shrink to $27.02, a nearly 54% loss of value in 2010. At that time, British Petroleum reported a second-quarter loss of $17 billion, its first loss in 18 years. This included a one-time $32.2 billion charge, including $20 billion for the fund created for reparations and $2.9 billion in actual costs.
British Petroleum gas stations, the majority of which the company does not own, reported lower sales between 10 and 40% due to backlash against the company. The real estate prices and a number of transactions in the Gulf of Mexico area decreased significantly during the period of the oil spill.
Oil effects on tourism and economy
British Petroleum additionally gave Florida $25 million to promote the beaches which the oil had not contaminated and the company planned $15 million each for Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The Bay Area Tourist Development Council bought digital billboards showing recent photos from the gulf coast beaches as far north as Nashville, Tennessee and Atlanta.
Along with assurances that the beaches were so far unaffected, hotels cut rates and offered deals such as free golf. Cancellation policies were changed, and refunds were promised to those where oil may have arrived. However, the crisis effect on tourism was strong and revenues remained below 2009 levels.
The United States Travel Association estimated that the economic impact of the oil spill on tourism across the Gulf Coast over a three-year period could exceed approximately $23 billion, in a region that supports over 400,000 travel industry jobs generating $34 billion in revenue annually. Although the economy will surely bounce back, history teaches us that the environment could require years or even decades to recover from the Deepwater Horizon crisis.